publishing business

Mubtada wa Khabar: Making Arabic Books Visible

It was during a conversation between Yasmina Jraissati and Nadim Tarazi, director of La maison du livre that the idea for “Mubtada wa Khabar” (Subject and Predicate) first arose. It was 2006, and Jraissati had been an agent specialized in Arabic literature for two years, but was struggling to find independent information on books. Where was the Publishers Weekly of Arabic literature? Where were the best-seller lists? How could the information get out?

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Making It Visible: Jonathan Wright on (Not) Translating Alaa al-Aswany’s ‘Automobile Club’

Translators are often expected to remain invisible puppeteers, unseen by all except specialists and those good at squinting. The translator who stays in the background is praised: The reader, we’re told, wants to connect with Elias Khoury, not Humphrey Davies; Jurji Zaydan, not Samah Selim. But there are moments when translators feel they must be heard.

Arabic Literature, Polish Readers

Emerging Arabic-Polish translator Aleksandra Lasota-Barańska is a student of Arabic language and Islamic Culture at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She has a few publications and is now looking to publish her first translated collection, of Najwan Darwish’ poems. She answered a few questions for ArabLit about the landscape of Arabic literature in Polish.

The Ups and Downs of Translating for Self-publishers

Self-publishing is a growing phenomenon, with more authors forgoing traditional publishers and striking out on their own. This has allowed many new authors out into some sort of public print space. Literature-in-translation, which has found it difficult to get the attention of large Anglophone publishers, is also making use of self-publishing options.